College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Scientific Meeting 2020

From June 22-24, 2020, members of the SHARC team virtually attended the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Scientific Meeting. 

CPDD provides a national and international forum for scientists of diverse backgrounds to advance the understanding of molecular-neurobiological aspects of addictive disorders and, by the application of new scientific knowledge, to improve and develop treatments utilizing novel behavioral and pharmacological therapies.

The CPDD annual scientific meeting has existed since 1938 and serves as a forum bringing together basic scientists and clinical investigators from industry, academia, and government. 

Representatives of regulatory agencies, as well as scientists and professionals in a number of diverse disciplines interested in the biochemical, behavioral, and public health aspects of drug dependence participate.

Members from the SHARC team joined an anticipated ~1,200 attendees and presented their research including:


Biosensor-Corroborated Contingency Management Intervention for Alcohol Abstinence in Older Adults with and without HIV Infection and Heavy Drinking
Veronica Richards, MPH, CPH

The aims of this presentation were to discuss the advantages and limitations of using the SCRAM ankle biosensors to monitor alcohol use in a contingency management intervention. I presented data from the 30-Day Challenge to demonstrate the usefulness of SCRAM as well as challenges that we have faced.


Association Between Marijuana Use and Cognitive Functioning Among People Living with HIV in Florida
Gladys Ibanez, PhD; Mark Britton; Yancheng (Alex) Li, MS; Zhi Zhou, DDS, MPH; Charurut Somboonwit, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Sarah Lawrence; Chelsea Vladivia, MEd; Taylor LeCorgne, MEd; Robert L Cook, MD, MPH

Little is known about the impact of chronic marijuana use on people aging with HIV, who may also be experiencing cognitive decline due to HIV. The present study examines the association between marijuana use and cognitive functioning among people living with HIV in Florida.

Duration and frequency of marijuana use was not associated with cognitive functioning except for processing speed. Future studies should examine factors that may help chronic marijuana users living with HIV maintain cognitive health, especially regarding processing speed.

To view more specific details from the CPDD Virtual Poster Sessions, click here and view page 63.

Relationship Between DSM-5 Cocaine Use Disorder and Quantity, Frequency and Duration of Cocaine Use During the Period of Heaviest Use
Yiyang Liu, PhD; Krishna Vaddiparti, PhD, MPE, MSW; JeeWon Cheong, PhD; Linda Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE

This work is based on Dr. Liu’s PhD dissertation aim 1 which used data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC-III) to examine how quantity, frequency, and duration of cocaine heaviest use are individually and jointly associated with cocaine use disorder. 

In summary, we found that ​frequency of use had the strongest association with cocaine use disorder, followed by the quantity of use. In addition, a significant interaction was found between quantity and high frequency of use on predicting the risk of cocaine use disorder.

To view more specific details from the CPDD Virtual Poster Sessions, click here and view page 80.

Cannabis as a harm reduction approach to reduce the use of tobacco, alcohol, opioids, and other drugs: A systematic review of evidence
Nichole Stetten, PhD, MPH, CPH; Veronica Richards, MPH, CPH; Verlin Joseph, MPH; Renessa Williams, BSN, RN; Yan Wang, PhD; Robert Leeman, PhD; Robert L Cook, MD, MPH

The aim is to investigate the level of evidence supporting the use of cannabis as a tool to reduce the use of tobacco, alcohol, opioids and other drugs.

In conclusion, the level of evidence supporting the use of cannabis as a harm reduction tool for tobacco, alcohol, opioids, and other drugs varies greatly. Although CBD shows potential in being used as a harm reduction tool for substance abuse, current studies are limited to preclinical or small randomized control trials that did not examine the long-term effects CBD has on substance use.

To view more specific details from the CPDD Virtual Poster Sessions, click here and view page 192.

Pyschosocial Correlates of Cannabis Use Disorder Among Persons Living with HIV
Verlin Joseph, MPH; Gladys Ibanez, PhD; Charurut Somboonwit, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Christa Cook, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC; Nicole Ennis Whitehead, PhD; Robert L Cook, MD, MPH

To date, 33 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use for several clinical conditions including HIV. Persons living with HIV (PLWH) are more likely to report a substance use disorder compared to the general population. Thus, identifying predictors of cannabis use disorder (CUD) has become a leading concern among researchers.

Our study noted a relatively high prevalence of CUD symptoms in this sample. As such, providers caring for PLWH who use marijuana should assess for symptoms of CUD, especially in those with anxiety or who are homeless.

To view more specific details from the CPDD Virtual Poster Sessions, click here and view page 217.

Measuring Sexual Risk-Taking: A Systematic Review of the Sexual Delay-Discounting Task
Meher Kalkat; Neo Gebru, MPS, MS; Margaret Ansell; Meredith Berry, PhD; Robert Leeman, PhD

The aim of this poster was to assess and synthesize how the Sexual Delay-Discounting Task (SDDT) is administered and analyzed in the literature and explore implications for reported findings. Comparable results across diverse populations (substance users, MSM, young adults/college students) demonstrate validity of SDDT as a tool for capturing sexual risk-taking.

Information Source: CPDD Website